A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Some thoughts about the draft

The 2008 NHL Entry Draft will take place in Ottawa on June 20 and 21. With the first pick, the Lightning will be taking Steven Stamkos. The next three picks are expected to all be defensemen. The Kings will pick Drew Doughty, the Thrash will pick Zach Bogosian, the Blues will pick Alex Pietrangelo. After that, there really isn't any consensus.

Carolina will have the 14th pick. Some mock drafts have the Canes picking center Joshua Bailey (not "Josh"), who put up 96 (29/67) points in 67 games for the Windsor Spitfire of the OHL, good enough for tenth in the OHL. Bailey is 6'1" and 190 pounds. He wouldn't be able to make the jump straight to the NHL, and he is too young for the AHL, so if he is the drafted player, he'll spend at least one more season in Windsor. The projection is that he'll make a second line centerman in the NHL when his time comes.

Another popular projection for the Canes to pick with 14 is offensive defenseman Michael Del Zotto. He tallied 63 (16/47) points in 64 games for the Oshawa Generals of the OHL this past season. That points total was third among defensemen in the OHL in 2007-08. The 6'0" 210 pound youngster was slotted as high as fifth on the pre-season rankings. However, he slid down the chart because scouts have deemed him to be somewhat of a defensive liability. Still, the same scouts say that his ability to quarterback a power play and make plays is still enough to warrant a mid-first round selection.

I'm sure at some point I'll have more details on these and other players the Canes might pick with their first round selection.

Most analysts are suggesting that Jared Staal, the youngest of the four boys, will go early-mid second round. Carolina has the fifteenth pick in the second round (45th overall). If he's available, I'd be surprised to see the Canes pass on him at that point. For the record, Jared is the only Staal boy who shoots right handed. He had a less than spectacular season with the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL, scoring 49 (21/28) points in 60 games while accumulating a -11 rating as the second best player on the worst team in the league.

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